Flores Friday – Everything You Could Possibly Want to Know About Eventide

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Friday, July 11th – Is it possible that this article actually contains Everything You Could Ever Want to Know About Eventide? Probably not! But it does review just about every officially spoiled card from the upcoming set. Includes free deck lists! Warning: Contains Spoilers.

Only two ratings for this one: Thumbs Up and Thumbs Down (but lots of descriptions as to why a card may have gone one way or the other, of course). Only officially spoiled cards for me; I don’t even read the sites that speculate about 4/3 Giant Solifuge or cantrip Douse in Gloom, if you know what I mean. Let’s go!

Overbeing of Myth
Hands down – and probably not surprising for longtime readers – this is my favorite amongst the Eventide cards spoiled so far.

It is almost an update to Aeon Chronicler… without boasting one iota of what makes an Aeon Chronicler an Aeon Chronicler at all. Unlike “the original” as it were, you can actually counter Overbeing of Myth without it first ruining you for value (beating Blue was always my main concern with Aeon Chronicler); on balance, you get to draw, like, forever if it sticks… which combined with the fact that Overbeing of Myth can be played with entirely Green mana makes it a very interesting inclusion in the set.

Card availability willing, I would attempt some kind of Critical Mass Update for Block… but it probably wouldn’t be better than Faeries. Right now I have this in B/U/G Mannequin, but the mana might be spotty given the Black requirements. More on this when the entire set is spoiled, probably.

Where Might This Be Played:
I think that Overbeing of Myth can fit into several different kinds of decks. The most obvious, and probably most potent, will be the “Simic” equivalent to the G/W Little Kid deck, where it should enjoy some nice synergies. As I mentioned above, it might be able to go into a more controlling “Critical Mass” sort of mid-range control deck, should that sort of deck prove viable (and there is no promise of that). Mono-Blue might want it for the same reason Blue sometimes loved the Aeon Chronicler; interestingly, when Blue goes up against beatdown, Overbeing of Myth is probably going to be better because it can block the first time around, though a one-for-two might turn off the eventual Howling Mine spigot. Lastly, a straight Green deck might use this as a cross between Harmonize and Maro for one more mana than either.

Thumbs Up

This is an interesting card; not good, probably, but interesting.

I am currently down on sevens, so I don’t see this as being a particularly usable card; I can’t even imagine a deck that I would want to side this in against (that is, some kind of deck where I survive until about turn 7, can resolve a seven, that will let me untap with this and another creature or two and will let me attack twice)… Yeah.

Where Might This Be Played:
Should Doomgape be played, it would be in a deck fairly heavy on creatures that can also manage its mana cost. That is, Limited. This card is probably quite awesome in the forties, in fact.

Thumbs Down

Call the Skybreaker
Jon Finkel and I had an interesting conversation about this card last week. I thought you might want to play it in a Life from the Loam Extended deck, go long, and make lots of 5/5s in a grind ’em out sort of Shredder deck, what with Devastating Dreams rotating out and all.

“I was thinking you draw an extra land on turn 9 or so, and ‘Hey! A 5/5!'”

So, um, Limited?

Well, we both liked it.

Where Might This Be Played:
As per Jon’s position, this is a fantastic late game card in Limited, giving a deck a recurring source of end game finishers. In Constructed, it will most likely be played as a singleton in a Loam strategy capable of playing RR.

Thumbs Up

Needle Specter
The superficial analysis is that Hypnotic Specter doesn’t get any play… Why would this? It doesn’t even withstand Bitterblossom!

Interestingly, this card is pretty good off a Birds of Paradise, and Birds of Paradise is Green. What happens if you get just one hit in but it comes prepackaged with a Giant Growth of some sort? Things get interesting, no?

So how would this work?

Needle Specter is probably too weak for main deck Constructed play due to the parallel Bitterblossom / Hypnotic Specter lines of reasoning, but it might be an interesting sideboard card for a deck that plays Birds of Paradise… Especially a deck that was already playing some sort of Barkshell Blessing / Giant Growth / Stonewood Invocation. In that kind of a deck it might be a big hitter out of the sideboard. Probably not, though.

Where Might This Be Played:
You would always play Needle Specter in Limited if your colors cooperated. It is a stretch for Constructed and always will be because it travels with Bitterblossom; that said, if Needle Specter ever made the break, I think that it would be in a deck capable of increasing its power in order to get more value out of a successful Specter strike.

Thumbs Down

Stigma Lasher

I’m pretty sure Pat Sullivan has already earmarked his playset.

This card is just fantastic. Red Decks don’t need great combat creatures, necessarily… They need this thing. Stigma Lasher seems much better than Blood Knight in the current crop of Red Decks, and on the play, he makes Kitchen Finks much more palatable from the other side of the table.

Nothing much more to say about this… seems obvious how awesome it is; a sketch:

4 Ashenmoor Gouger
4 Figure of Destiny
4 Demigod of Revenge

4 Flame Javelin
4 Incinerate
4 Magus of the Moon
4 Mogg Fanatic
4 Rift Bolt
4 Stigma Lasher

4 Ghitu Encampment
4 Keldon Megaliths
16 Snow-Covered Mountain

I initially had some problems figuring out the one and two drop situation(s) but then I realised that Figure of Destiny is both! Magus of the Moon is kind of an evil that everyone thinks of as necessary right now, so mise. I’d probably rather have a Lash Out, all things considered.

Where Might This Be Played:
This will be the go-to two drop for Red Decks in many formats, specifically where the Red mage is likely to have to deal with Kitchen Finks, Loxodon Hierarch, etc. See the above sketch for one possible Standard deck.

Big Thumbs Up

Shorecrasher Mimic
I am going to reserve judgment 100% on this one just based on whether there are enough Simic cards to make this better-than-just-“playable” or however you want to think of it.

My G/W Little Kid Block deck has something like 27 multicolor Selesnya cards main deck, plus Witches, Heartmenders, what have you, in the side. If you can curve this guy on turn 2, play some Simic equivalent of Wilt-Leaf Cavaliers (let’s call it a Plaxcaster Frogling), crash for five… That’s already medium good, but he would be sub-Safehold Elite long term if you couldn’t run out the local equivalent to a Wilt-Leaf Liege on turn 4 (and down the list we see the in-color Liege is actually five mana in this case). So I guess the question is will we have sufficient two and three drops to run the stopgap until we hit our Lieges and Overbeing on turn 5? Shorecrasher, Shorecrasher, some kind of three or four drop, Liege or Overbeing seems like a pretty devastating curve, actually. Thought of that way, this card has mucho potential in the Simic version of the G/W deck (probably a prepackaged linear the same way “Selesnya” was)… Which is to say that it might never make it to Standard no matter how attractive that deck might look in Block (and we have no idea how good that is at this point). Long story short…

Where Might This Be Played:
In Constructed, I think this card will be played exclusively in a U/G deck with more than 20 Blue and Green spells (Overbeing of Myth, Murkfiend Liege, etc). It can ride tremendous tempo early, and is reminiscent of an Aquamoeba. It has very little upside outside of the scripted U/G deck, so I don’t think it will be played in other Blue or Green decks despite its simple cost.

Thumbs Up

5/3 attacking on turn 3? Shorecrasher, indeed. This guy might be a monster!

Outrage Shaman
Flametongue Kavu-type cards tend to be pretty good in Constructed, even when they look a little clunky. I was actually skeptical about Flametongue Kavu to begin with, to be honest (who knew it was going to be all creatures including Skies?). This one is a Goblin, and it has the benefit of being in the same Block as cards like Deus and Demigod, meaning that it might get more than the expected two damage in. Outrage Shaman’s worst case scenario is way worse than the Murderous Redcap, of course, but it might still be playable. Five is a little steep, though.

Where Might This Be Played:
This can be played in various strategies that want a Flametongue Kavu; even in Goblins, I would guess that it would be behind Murderous Redcap.

Thumbs Up, tentatively

Raven’s Crime
This card is just devastating. Imagine it in the Loam deck in Extended. You can basically run out the Three Tragedies on the opponent every turn.

Actually now that I think about it, this is even better than it looks. You Dredge Life from the Loam; you flip Raven’s Crime… You didn’t even have to draw and front side it… You can go straight to Loam recursion feeding the Retrace; particularly good in the middle turns. Just awesome for Extended.

Where Might This Be Played:
Raven’s Crime might rise to the default one mana disruption spell in Standard and Extended. Particularly in Extended, this card’s future seems bright as a way to make the already great Life from the Loam even more impressive. Together, the two cards may be able to push mid-range control past combo in-matchup (but who knows?).

Thumbs Up

Scourge of the Nobilis
This is a very interesting card… I think it will be played, at least in the sideboard of some “Boros” decks, and that it might make its way all the way to Extended.

About two years ago, Boros decks in Extended were willing to splash for Armadillo Cloak (pre-Tarmogoyf)… This card is pretty close to an Armadillo Cloak (+2/+2 and Lifelink when applied to a “Boros” creature)… it would be just fine on a Boros Swiftblade. There is no Armadillo Cloak anymore; there might still be a Boros deck. The upside on the Red half is pretty damn up if you burn all the baddies away.

Where Might This Be Played:
This can be played in a Boros deck in any of Block, Standard, or Extended. Of these, I feel that Extended has the most to gain from the card, although maybe Standard and Block will have something to say about that given a large number of relevant in-color threat creatures.

Thumbs Up

Worm Harvest
Okay, okay… This is probably just better in Loam than Call the Skybreaker; sue me, I hadn’t seen it yet when I had that conversation with Jon. I’m going out on a limb here to say that this probably wouldn’t be a very effective Limited card.

One copy of this probably would have been enough to make Shredder fast enough for tournament play three years ago, or whenever Patrick first made it. It’s not so much about having a devastating number of threats, just that you have something to use to seize the initiative after a big sweep spell.

Where Might This Be Played:
I don’t see this as having a huge widespread fan base, but you will probably see certain decks (some kind of Shredder in particular) that run 1 or 0 + 1 as a main deck or sideboard singleton. It will be pretty good in those decks.

Thumbs Up

Interesting and very good.

This will be played in a couple of different strategies… It is probably better-than-just-sideboard quality in Kithkin (comparable to Oblivion Ring, probably better most of the time), but the real gold is in the new “Orzhov” deck. Consider this next to Deathbringer Liege; it’s unclear whether Unmake would be better than or supplemental to Mortify in Extended Orzhov (or whatever you want to call it), but it certainly seems playable all the way in that format.

Where Might This Be Played:
Unmake should be an unconditional four-of in many strategies. It will contribute either main or side to Block Kithkin, and will be even better next to its hybrid Liege, regardless of the format.

Thumbs Up

Swirling Spriggan
I am torn on this one…

On the one hand, I can’t imagine ever playing this.

On the other hand, Blind Seer (what kind of an oxymoronic name is “Blind Seer” anyway?) was a bombastical superstones in Limited… and then a surprise elbowdrop bombastical superstones in Constructed.

Swirling Spriggan is the not Legendary Blind Seer… in Green for some reason.

The question is, is there going to be a deck so good that all it has to do is block the other guy’s Yavimaya Barbarian to be nigh unbeatable? Swirling Spriggan doesn’t obviously go in Faeries, so I am guessing no on this one.

Where Might This Be Played:
It might be awesome in Limited, where players are sometimes impressed by a 3/3 for four mana, but a Constructed career is unlikely.

Thumbs Down

Endless Horizons
This card has three functions, and it does all three things pretty well; even so, it still “feels” like a marginal card due to being painfully slow. There are relatively few decks where you can run out a four that does nothing and suffer no ill effects, and the decks that you can afford to do that can counter Endless Horizons if they were going to care. Grok much?

1) It draws lands.
This is the basic ability, the one that is obvious and obviously written all over the card. A slower, fairer, and still effective Land Tax, this card plays Howling Mine and ensures land drops, basically forever.

2) It thins lands.
In the right sort of deck, this can basically play Mana Severance. I don’t know that it is very likely that a deck that can take advantage of a Mana Severance would be a) in White and b) have all Plains… But thinning lands is / can be advantageous in even just Kithkin (think about drawing all gas in a mirror, say).

3) It sets up Retrace
This is the subtlest of the three functions that I initially read into Endless Horizons. If you have some good Retrace cards, you’ve got them forever with this card online. Of the various functions, this is the most exciting to me right now.

Where Might This Be Played:
This can be played in a deck that wants do to one or more of the above three tasks, from (potentially) Kithkin as a way to improve draw quality over time, to a Retrace theme deck.

Thumbs Up (but it still seems a wee bit dodgy)

Altar Golem

Where Might This Be Played:
You’ve got me.

Thumbs Down

Umbra Stalker
My snap judgment is to see this as a singleton (or thereabouts) in a Mono-Black Control (or thereabouts) control deck. You don’t want to play a million Umbra Stalkers because it costs seven, and you don’t want to draw it early because it doesn’t do anything special unless you have a bunch of Black mana symbols in the grumper. But the fact is, this creature just has power and toughness, and it isn’t even unconditionally awesome.

Of course…

It’s possible that this can be an awesome cheater finisher a la Sutured Ghoul. It probably isn’t hard to get, say, 20 Black mana symbols into your graveyard, and Umbra Stalker is the perfect mana for, you guessed it, Dragon Breath. The only thing is that, unlike Sutured Ghoul, this one doesn’t have any kind of built-in evasion… But in terms of big cheats, it should be at least considered for the cheatyface spot. Just saying.

Where Might This Be Played:
Singleton in control; Sutured Ghoul 2K8 in graveyard combo.

Thumbs Down (potential Flagship!)

Restless Apparition
So disappointing.

Josh and I were talking about whether “Orzhov” is going to be viable, and I said that there has got to be some sort of awesome Wilt-Leaf Cavaliers that it can…

Restless Apparition, huh?

I would be so depressed if this were my three drop. Maybe it is a necessary evil in that deck, but really? I have a different idea, but we’ll get to that when we’re on Deathbringer Liege.

Where Might This Be Played:
Limited first and foremost; outside chance at the Orzhov linear deck, just because he’s from the right neighborhood.

Thumbs Down

The once and future great Lan D. Ho and I were just discussing this one in the Red Deck. It is obviously “good enough” in the abstract (look at that power-to-mana cost ratio!), but I think that Demigod of Revenge is superior if you can get the mana. Why?

People are bad.

People are stupid.

People are sloppy.

People don’t know the rules.

Let People give you free games if they insist (and Demigod is awesome even when people do play correctly, don’t forget).

At this point I have seen people misclick Demigod of Revenge on three different occasions, even deep in PTQ play. If you don’t know how the trigger stacks… sigh.

Where Might This Be Played:
Finisher in the regular Red Deck (some G/R variation thereof, that wouldn’t opt for Demigod), possibly Big Red.

Thumbs Up anyway. Thunderblust is probably the next best attacker on five if you can’t easily muster the specific mana… It has a Terror defense of its own.

Duergar Hedge-Mage
Super awesome.

Aim it.

At Extended.

Notice the.

“May” text.

Move along.

Where Might This Be Played:
Extended, in a beatdown deck with the mana to take advantage of both sides depending on the opponent is the most likely home for the card, but even a straight Red deck can use it as an artifact breaker if the occasion arose.

Thumbs Up

Ashling, the Extinguisher
There isn’t much to say about this version of Ashling… Awesome stats in relation to mana cost; awesome ability; no drawbacks other than a hard double-bee in the top right.

Where Might This Be Played:
Any deck that wants an efficient Black creature on offense that has a relevant ability.

Thumbs Up

Deity of Scars
Not as good as Deus.

Not as good as Demigod.

Jury’s out on Oversoul.

Probably not as good as Overbeing.

Better than Ghastlord.

About a million times better than Godhead.

Obviously pretty awesome on its face; the question is that if there is a deck capable of running out GGGGG or BBBBB, will this be the Spirit Avatar of choice? I think probably not. However, if there is a B/G deck that goes (b/g)(b/g)(b/g)(b/g)(b/g) rather than leaning on Mutavaults, this will definitely be good enough; it’s hard to kill, really hard to kill if you get to untap, and can’t be killed by the Terror suite.

It feels kind of like Silvos, Rogue Elemental, if that makes any sense.

Where Might This Be Played:
The Rock.

Thumbs Up, I guess.

Heartlash Cinder
It’s not so much that it is unplayable as it is unlikely that anyone will want to play it.

What deck does it go into? Do you want to wait until you have a lot of Red mana symbols in play to run it out for large value? If you do that, will it get in? Is this a silly line of thought?

Where Might This Be Played:
A Red Deck or a burn deck that wants to cheat in additional, roguish, damage.

Thumbs… I don’t think it will get played very much… Down, I guess.

Flame Jab
Might just be better than Lava Dart.

Where Might This Be Played:
The Red Deck. This card can help win games that might have otherwise been lost to mana flood. It can hit multiple small targets, making it more valuable than, say, Shock despite the potentially greater mana commitment.

Thumbs Up


This guy is in the same boat as Deity of Scars. It’s awesome on its face, but the specific competition is fierce given the specific constraints of a deck that can play it. Primalcrux is at the very worst a 6/6 Trample for six. Here’s the thing… at six mana, Deity of Scars is in the same league, maybe better, and Deus is a 6/6 Trampler for five mana, with a huge upside.

Primalcrux is absolutely super awesome, but I don’t think that it will see a lot of play because the competition is so fierce.

Where Might This Be Played:
A deck that wants a giant fat Fat FATTIE and for some reason has overlooked Overbeing, Deus, etc. or just wants more and more expensive creatures.

Thumbs Up, and sorry.

Crag Puca
Unbelievably, I think this one will probably be pretty good. Don’t forget that Phantasmal Fiend won about a million PTQs. Okay, that’s hardly relevant 12 years later…

Horned Turtle, or River Kaijin, also did pretty well. Crag Puca is a mile better than either out of the sideboard. Would a Red Deck consider playing this? Maybe? It’s probably not better than Ashenmoor Gouger unless you are seriously considering blocking, and even then… Blue definitely, though. This will be an annoying one out of the board.

Where Might This Be Played:
Out of the sideboard of the Blue Decks.

Thumbs Up

Canker Abomination
This is a very interesting Hunted Wumpus 2K8.

It might be a difficult sell as the “go bigger than Rumbling Slum” style of Hunted Wumpus, but it seems like a fine cleanup crew for a deck after it has dropped a Damnation; of course it is very useful when the opponent hasn’t got any creatures (much like Hunted Wumpus).

In a world of Deus, Demigod, Diety, etc, this is still probably a corner case, if playable.

Where Might This Be Played:
Most likely a sideboard card against decks unlikely to present many small creatures.

Thumbs Down

This one is super linear deck or bust, obviously.

Can Zur play enough Enchantments to make it worthwhile?

Would you want Evershrike even if you had those Enchantments?

Would WotC waste such a brilliant piece of art on an unplayable card?

Snap judgments are probably not, probably not, and it’s happened before.

Where Might This Be Played:
A Zur deck specially modified to accommodate it.

Thumbs Down

Sanity Grinding
Not really my speed.

Where Might This Be Played:
The loser’s bracket.

Thumbs Down

Okay? You want the maths?

Let’s assume you are 40% lands and Mono-Blue (you would probably be closer to 50% lands, let’s be honest); let’s just assume you are going to flip six Blue cards. How many Blues on those cards? Say everything you flip is Sanity Grinding, Guile, and Cryptic Commands. You hit eighteen cards. Is that good? Is that worth UUU and a card? Like I said, not really my speed, and I am the guy who loves to tap mana main phase in his Blue decks.

Nightmare Incursion
Just comparing this to similar cards, my gut is no.

Cranial Extraction is marginal (even if marginally a superbomb) at four, and this costs between three and four times the mana, relatively speaking; Haunting Echoes costs one less and typically does a lot more, even assuming a search for six cards.

Where Might This Be Played:
Possibly it would be good as a sideboard card in matchups where the opponent didn’t have a lot of ways to win; even then it would not necessarily be good against a deck with some amount of Retrace, and of course, can’t say anything about what’s actually in the other guy’s grip. My gut is nowhere.

Thumbs Down

Banishing Knack
This seems like a situational role player. Say you want an Unsummon, and you are willing to tap your creature to get it. Banishing Knack!

I was thinking maybe you could take some kind of unbelievable turn with Order of Whiteclay but that seems like it would require an implausible amount of mana.

Where Might This Be Played:
Decks that need an Unsummon; decks that can tap the same creature multiple times say through the Untap mechanic to do something special.

Thumbs Up

Fable of Wolf and Owl
I am not really about six mana do-nothings.

I’m sure you can imagine a situation where this is great… It’s just a question of tapping six mana to do nothing. Maybe your defense is really good and you can give up your sixth turn in return for, I dunno, a 1/1 token sometime in the future… But my gut is no. Certainly it’s cute to grind someone out with this kind of a card, but it seems unbelievably slow and unreliable, if cool.

Where Might This Be Played:
The U/G version of the Little Kid deck or some other U/G deck… You would probably play it in Limited for the grinder win.

Thumbs Down

Just doesn’t seem like a Constructed card to me. Retromancer you.

Where Might This Be Played:
In a 40-card deck.

Thumbs Down

This is just never going to happen.

Where Might This Be Played:
Deep in the tank, in the lab, figuring out how to make this happen in the real world.

Thumbs Down

Sapling of Colfenor
Is this good enough for tap out defense?

I used to side in sixes against Boros because the tap out defense on a Yosei was so game ending… But the two power on this isn’t scaring so much as a modern Red one drop. The offensive side is very cool… But probably works best in a deck I wouldn’t really consider playing.

Now if you can cheat this into play with a Leaf-Crowned Elder, that is pretty sexy. But there is still the issue of having to play some of these guys (I really don’t want to). At the same mana it just seems much worse than a lot of the other options; that said, it will probably see play as a one-of. Therefore…

Where Might This Be Played:
In a Treefolk or Shaman related deck.

Thumbs Up

Creakwood Liege
Maybe I’m just spoiled because of Wilt-Leaf Liege, but this guy is pretty puny for a Liege, I think. But if Golgari is playable, their Liege will probably be playable. Inside Nameless Inversion and Incinerate range, but pretty durable otherwise. A 3/3 per turn is very attractive, though, which leads to its Thumbs Up rating.

Where Might This Be Played:
Golgari, of course.

Thumbs Up

Mindwrack Liege
This card fails for a couple of reasons. First of all, 4/4 for six is even punier than Creakwood Liege. Second of all, there aren’t going to be lots of little Red and Blue creatures waiting around to get bonuses from their overcosted Liege. The ability is awesome, but I just don’t see it getting there. Instead of paying ten mana to get some guy into play, I probably could have just played it.

Where Might This Be Played:

Thumbs Down

Wake Thrasher
This is basically the Merfolk equivalent of a Stoic Champion. It seems pretty awesome to me, provided you can cast spells, use your Sygg, whatever.

ROAR! Glub glub.

Where Might This Be Played:
Merfolk decks, first and foremost.

Thumbs Up

Spirit of the Hearth
This is probably a hair slow for, say, Extended, but it is only one more mana than Imperial Mask… and you get a gigantic 4/5 flyer. This is probably fast enough to thump a Standard Storm deck, albeit only in a deck with Blue to scare them off for a while.

On the other hand, it is just so much more durable than a True Believer… I like it quite a bit.

Where Might This Be Played:
As a sideboard card against Storm.

Thumbs Up

Dominus of Fealty

Threaten every turn?

If there is a five that can take Demigod’s position in the Red deck, this might be it.

I don’t know that the Blue decks really want this effect, or a 4/4 for five for that matter. This one is at least worth testing, for certain.

Where Might This Be Played:
Jockying for position in the Red Deck.

Thumbs Up

Gilder Bairn
I can’t really imagine wanting to play this.

However, the art is just wonderful.

Where Might This Be Played:
No clue whatsoever.

Thumbs Down

Fang Skulkin
Probably not good enough for sixties.

Where Might This Be Played:

Thumbs Down

Talara’s Battalion
Talara’s Battalion is the Magic equivalent of a forty of malt liquor that you buy at a highway gas station… cheap, bigger than it ought to be, and probably trouble for both you and somebody else, not necessarily predictably so.

Yes, yes. I missed Manamorphose when I wrote about this card last week. I think that you will probably play this in essentially only Mono-Green.

Where Might This Be Played:
Mono-Green aggro almost exclusively..

Thumbs Up

Light from Within

This really asks how much you are willing to pay for Crusade.

Very solid players have been willing to play the Leyline version of Crusade – and for tokens only – at zero or four; on four – provided four is a reasonable amount of mana to pay for some kind of Crusadewhat a Crusade this is!

4/4 Knight of Meadowgrain!

6/7 Wilt-Leaf Cavaliers!

10/10 Oversoul of Dusk!

The effects are pretty dramatic.

I don’t think this will ever be an automatic four-of, but even just as a White Overrun, it has obvious potential.

Where Might This Be Played:
A heavily White, attack oriented, deck.

Thumbs Up

Belligerent Hatchling
Probably not consistent enough.

Even when everything goes exactly the way you wanted, you just have a pretty good guy.

Where Might This Be Played:
Out of the sideboard, when R/W needs bigger creatures to contend with Green or some other color.

Thumbs Down

This card offers a very interesting set of incentives for deck design. First of all, Necroskitter seems like a perfectly reasonable blocker for its mana cost… But maybe the cagey opponent will just refuse to get into rumbles with it.

What about playing tons of removal like Scar and Incremental Blight? All of a sudden, Necroskitter seems a lot more awesome, right? Yes, the strategy only works against creature decks, and yes, you need to keep your Necroskitter in play for anything to go your way, but you can’t deny that there are some very interesting incentives for deck design that go with this one.

Where Might This Be Played:
In a deck specially designed to take advantage of Necroskitter.

Thumbs Up

Deathbringer Liege
This is probably my second favorite card amongst the spoiled set.

I just keep thinking about what you can do in Extended with this in play.

Turn 5 or 6 6/6 Ghost Council of Orzhova? And kill your guy? Castigate, kill your guy? Mortify, kill your guy… and your other guy?

If this is good enough for Extended (no clue if it is, but I bet it is), why not at least Standard or Block? Josh pointed out to me that the Orzhov equivalent to Wilt-Leaf Cavaliers is the underwhelming Restless Apparition. Then I figured out that Doran is a perfectly fine addition. In fact, Doran upgrades Deathbringer Liege to “4/4” before bonuses.

Playing Doran in a dedicated Orzhov deck is actually pretty easy. You can play eight Vivid lands, Reflecting Pool, and Murmuring Bosk. Here’s the super secret trick: You don’t play much Green, maybe a sum total of one basic Forest, but you can run a full set of Safewright Quests (tap your guy); you can grab Murmuring Bosk! Or your ancestral Plains.

Where Might This Be Played:
In the B/W deck, Block, Standard, or even Extended.

Thumbs Way Up

This will probably be an annoying Limited card. I don’t see it having any kind of effect in Constructed, seen as how it is tiny and has a lame ability both.

Where Might This Be Played:

Thumbs Down

Where Might This Be Played:
In a 40-card deck.

Archon of Justice
This I would play.

This is actually a near perfect tap out defense card. Who wants to kill this?

Where Might This Be Played:
There are several places where this can see play. A regular White Weenie deck can top up into it; from my perspective, it can come out of the side against beatdown to do a lot of blocking, or at least scare the opponent into not attacking.

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Phosphorescent Feast
I don’t see this being played. The life swing is potentially big, maybe, but would you rather run Phosphorescent Feast on five than say, Primal Command to go up a guaranteed seven, with no incremental Green mana symbols requirement, simultaneously searching up a Kitchen Finks?

Where Might This Be Played:
Some place they haven’t heart of Primal Command… Or in a heavily Green deck actually able to realize the upside.

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Spitting Image
Clone was always an underrated Constructed card. This is significantly more expensive, but the potential upside with card drawing and cards like Shorecrasher Mimic is also high. I don’t think I would play it as a four-of, but I would certainly consider playing it in a creature deck with mana and card drawing, maybe one or two copies.

Where Might This Be Played:
I have it as a provisional singleton in U/G for more end game.

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Fire at Will
Three words make this kind of unattractive… “attacking or blocking” creatures, only, can be targeted.

For three mana, this is better than Rock Slide, but very few people played Rock Slide.

I’d probably at least consider it as a straight White spell. It might be a worthwhile trick in Block Kithkin.

Where Might This Be Played:
Sideboards of aggressive decks, against aggressive decks.

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Glen Elendra Archmage
Persist is absolutely huge here; this is like getting two Counterspells and a bit of a beater for six mana. I don’t think that this is probably good enough for main deck, partly because as Jon Finkel said when telling me why he played Remove Soul in his Merfolk deck, “Everything you could possibly want to counter is a creature,” but I can definitely see accelerating it out on turn 4 with mana open against a[nother] control deck, similar to how Adrian Sullivan played Soratami Savant in the sideboard of his Eminent Domain deck.

This is actually a very difficult card to play around due to the Persist. You can’t, for example, just kill it and then move to resolve your next spell… She’s coming back. Mana still open? Counterspell still waiting.

Oh, and attack you.

Where Might This Be Played:
Sideboard of certain decks to be used specifically against control.

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Gwyllion Hedge-Mage
This seems like a perfectly serviceable card; it reminds me of Orzhov Pontiff due to the mana cost and versatility of text. I wouldn’t be overjoyed playing this in every situation, but it seems perfectly fine in the Deathbringer Liege deck, a 4/4, a 2/2, and two dead guys on the other side of the table.

Where Might This Be Played:
Orzhov… Probably Standard or Block.

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Murkfiend Liege
I think I would have preferred to pay four mana for a 3/3 Liege with no special ability. The reason is that I actually want to play Overbeing of Myth, and eight five mana drops… Oh wait, the last time I played U/G in Block, I ran eight fives and it was awesome.

Obviously you would play out Overbeing of Myth first, get your card, and then pump all with the big Overrun-like attack.

Then no one would attack you, because all your gigantic guys would be untapped. Seems like a good deal!

I honestly wouldn’t mind a less impressive Liege for less mana, but I guess you can probably say that about most classes of Magic cards, most of the time.

Where Might This Be Played:

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Cascade Bluffs
Obviously the best card to be revealed thus far.

Where Might This Be Played:
Wherever they like good mana.

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Good luck at the Prerelease tomorrow, anyone who is going.